Organizational Wellness

How to Measure Employee Engagement

Nov 1, 2022
Last Updated May 20, 2024

Consider the hobby or activity you love to spend your free time on. Maybe you enjoy hiking. Perhaps you are a fabulous crafter or an artist of some kind. Whatever you do with your free time, how would you measure your “engagement” with that activity? It’s difficult to give a firm statistic or rating, like: “this week I was 80% engaged with my ongoing woodworking project.”

Just like it’s difficult to measure your engagement with your hobbies, measuring employee engagement at work can be just as challenging. Every organization has the opportunity to measure employee engagement by asking for feedback and implementing improvements.

Sounds great, right? But how do you discover the best metrics for measuring employee engagement? We’re here to help you better define what engagement means to your organization and how to measure it.

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What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a term used to describe the connection that employees feel to the work they do and the organization they work for. Most companies look at engagement as an employee’s motivation, drive, and enthusiasm to perform the work they are assigned to do.

While this working definition does help describe engagement, it’s still difficult to understand what motivates employees and the feelings that are driving their performance. Some employees may be engaged in their work, but is that effort offered with willingness and encouraged using company values? Keeping track of a few metrics may help measure how connected employees feel to their work and your company.

Why measure employee engagement?

There are a lot of benefits to measuring employee engagement, the primary one being improvement. Improving the level of engagement from top to bottom, increases productivity, offers more job satisfaction, and reduces employee turnover. In fact, over one-third of disengaged employees are actively applying to new jobs, so the more you can engage employees, the more likely you’ll retain top talent!

Measuring engagement also helps

  • Ensure employee engagement strategies are working
  • Build trust within the company
  • Understand trends
  • Gather information to inform future employee engagement strategies

Measuring engagement will empower your company to actively help your employees, which is key to improving your business internally and externally.

How to measure employee engagement

Here are several ways to quantify the feelings, work, and reactions of your employees to better gauge their engagement.

  1. Establish metrics

Determine important metrics based on the goals of your employee engagement program. Are you losing a lot of employees, especially due to the Great Resignation? You can conduct and analyze employee retention stats, like improving your exit interview questions, to understand why people aren’t engaged at work and what metrics are important to your employees.

Other important areas to measure include:

  • Inclusion
  • Overall wellbeing
  • Trust in management
  • Training & onboarding quality
  • Safety
  • Culture
  • Fulfillment (does work feel important to the employee)

  1. Send out surveys

Employee engagement surveys are a critical part of any type of engagement measurement. It’s the easiest way to gather data you can actually act on. This opens up communication, helps employees feel heard and valued, and gives you invaluable feedback as the employer. A few examples questions to ask include:

  • Do you enjoy working with your team?
  • Rank your agreement: I find my job interesting and challenging.
  • Do you believe you are paid fairly?

You can send out annual employee engagement surveys or more frequent surveys to keep a pulse on engagement. Learn more about the Importance of Work Environment Surveys here.

  1. Calculate eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score)

eNPS is a scoring system that measures an employee’s satisfaction and sincere feelings about a company. The first question asks employees to rate on a scale from 0-10 if they would recommend their company to others as a place of employment and if they would recommend the service or product being sold. The second question is open-ended, allowing employees to explain their rating. This helps measure satisfaction, loyalty, and yes, engagement.

To find your employee net promoter score, anyone who gave a ranking of 0-6 is labeled as a detractor, 7-8 is passive, and 9-10 is a promoter. To calculate eNPS, take your percentage of promoters and subtract your percentage of detractors. A negative score indicates a poor eNPS, while a score above zero is good.

  1. Set up one-on-ones

One-on-one meetings are a great opportunity for both employers and employees to be more transparent with feedback, exciting news, challenges, and concerns either party is having. Not everyone wants to share concerns in a group setting, but employees may be more willing to give feedback and ask questions face-to-face. Ask for feedback in one-on-ones—you may be surprised at what employees are willing to share when given the chance!

  1. Measure absenteeism rate

If your employees are not showing up for work or clocking out early without explanation, you may be seeing higher absenteeism in your workforce. Absenteeism may be due to personal challenges someone is facing, like family issues or an illness. However, absenteeism may also be due to someone being disengaged and looking for another job or facing some kind of harassment at work. Don’t let someone get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day work—make sure you identify employees who exhibit signs of quitting quickly and connect with those employees to better understand what you can improve.

To measure your absenteeism rate, simply count the number of absences over a certain period of time and divide by the total number of days during that period. Then multiply by 100 to calculate a percentage.

  1. Measure employee retention rate

Keeping a pulse on employee retention metrics can also help you identify employees who are not engaged and who may be considering leaving. To measure your overall retention rate, find the percentage of retained employees over a specific time period by using the following equation.

Employee Retention = (Number of employees who stayed during a specific time period / Total number of employees at the beginning of the time period) x 100 

You do the math on that and you’re left with a percentage representing your overall retention rate.

  1. Stay interviews

A stay interview is a conversation (formal or informal) usually conducted between managers and employees to discuss what could be improved upon in the workplace. Encourage employees to express concerns without fear of retribution and be sure to show your appreciation for their time and that you value their feedback. Some common questions you could ask during a stay interview include: 

  • What makes your job exciting or frustrating?
  • What excited you about coming to work every day?
  • What might make your job more enjoyable?

Implementing improvements to employee engagement

Once you know and understand what needs to be improved, it’s time to work on improving it! There are a lot of ways to improve engagement, but here are few common employee engagement ideas

  • Establish better communication rhythms. Open up the lines of communication by establishing open office hours or regular meetings where employees can give feedback to help improve the workplace.
  • Start an employee recognition program. There’s no better way to show your employees you value them than by recognizing their hard work through an employee recognition program. Shoutouts from peers or even monetary rewards for great performance can really go a long way to improving employee engagement.
  • Emphasize work-life wellness. According to our new State of Work-Life Wellness Report, our proprietary research found that 93% of workers consider their wellbeing at work to be equally important to their salary. Establishing a wellness program helps employees understand that you don’t value their work over them as people.
  • Sponsor Team-building activities. Team building activities are a great way to encourage communication and collaboration among your team. Focusing on non-work related tasks in a stress-free environment encourages connection and helps improve your company culture.

How will you measure employee engagement?

Employee engagement reflects on the company and its values and also indicates how well they can and will retain employees. If you need more inspiration on how to engage your employees, Wellhub can help you design a more fulfilling work environment for your workforce, which is great for workers and employers alike! To get started with great benefits that boost employee engagement, talk to a Wellbeing Specialist today.

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!

 

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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